Saturday, February 20, 2021

Shadow of a Doubt - February 2021


 February 2021

NCAS Public Lecture Series

Remembering Randi

 YouTube Live Event with Q and A 

Presented by Banachek
Magician / Mentalist / President, James Randi Educational Foundation

Saturday, February 13, 2:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00)

NCASVideo YouTube Channel:

For more information, call the NCAS Skeptic Line at 240-670-NCAS (6227).

Magician / mentalist Banachek will recall his lifetime relationship in the skeptical movement with James Randi: how they met, Project Alpha, the Peter Popoff exposé, the Million Dollar Challenge and everything in between. Stories that have never been told before will be revealed.

Banachek was born in England in 1960 and moved to the United States in 1976. It was at the end of that same year he picked up a worn copy of James Randi's book, The Truth About Uri Geller.  This was the book that changed Banachek's life. This book gave Banachek the tools to construct his own versions of metal bending and his life was never the same.

In what became known as Project Alpha, Banachek went on to fool scientists at the prestigious Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. He convinced them that he could bend metal with his mind, only to explain later that despite the half a million-dollar grant from McDonnell Douglas, he was using trickery the entire time, giving Banachek the unique title as "The man who fooled the scientists." Since that time, Banachek has gone on to expose not only other psychic claims but also hoaxes such as his well-documented exposé of the evangelist Peter Popoff.

Banachek has performed on over 50 major magic TV shows, from CNN Live to NBC's Today show, and had hundreds of smaller appearances on TV shows the world over. He has appeared in almost every major magazine and newspaper from the New York Times to the National Enquirer. He has been awarded the Psychic Entertainers Association's Creativity in Mentalism award and is sought out as a consultant by most major magicians and mentalists in the USA and abroad, including David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Criss Angel and David Blaine.

There will be an online question-and-answer segment after the presentation.

How to Watch and Participate in this Online Event:

 1) Use a supported browser...

2) Use the link .  If typing the link, use "0" (zero).

3) The live stream begins shortly before 2:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00) on Saturday, February 13, 2021.

4) To post questions, you must be signed in to a Google account.

5) Post your questions in the chat window to the right of the video player when the live stream is active.

6) Click into where it says "Say something..." and begin typing (up to 200 characters). Then click the send icon .

 Along with your question, please post what city or town you're in.

Message to Current and Prospective NCAS Members

In response to the economic hardship and other uncertainties that our members may be facing, NCAS has automatically extended by one year all memberships that expire in 2020 or later.  Payment will be accepted for new memberships as well as renewals for 2019 and before: new and renewed will have a bonus year added.  Each life member may sponsor a new one-year membership at no charge.  (Double life memberships may sponsor two.)  Send your sponsored member's name and contact information to This offer will continue until further notice.

Michael E. Mann on Skeptical Inquirer Presents

Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, will appear on the next Skeptical Inquirer Presents live online event, Thursday, February 18 at 7 PM ET, to discuss his new book, The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.  See .  Free registration is required:

February PhACT Lecture

Our skeptical neighbors to the north, the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (PhACT), will host their next online event on Saturday, February 20 at 2 PM ET.  Speaker Michael Marshall (Project Director of the Good Thinking Society, Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society, and host of the Be Reasonable podcast) will discuss his experiences of the Flat Earth movement, take a look at the leaders and some of their reasoning, and report back from the weekend he spent at the UK's first-ever Flat Earth convention.  Details at

March NCAS Lecture
Alan Levinovitz, Associate Professor of Religion at James Madison University, will discuss his book, Natural: How Faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science, which examines the meaning of "natural" and argues that modern Western culture has divinized nature.  Saturday, March 13 at 1:30 PM ET, live on the NCASVideo YouTube channel.

AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!

When holiday shopping at, you'll find the same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that a portion of the purchase price (0.5%) goes to NCAS! It's simple and automatic, and it doesn't cost you anything!

AmazonSmile's disbursements to NCAS in the third quarter of 2020 came to $24.92, meaning that $5000 of purchases were designated in support of NCAS.  (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's enough to cover 75 minutes of a Montgomery County lecture room rental.)

Thanks again to our members who have chosen to support NCAS!

For more information:

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